A friend sent me this article by Zinczenko & Goulding on the habits that make people fat. Kinda like it. Kinda hate it. Mostly hate it.
Habits 1-4 are pretty standard. Nothing too controversial. Get enough sleep, don't eat the free chips at Mexican restaurants.
I was excited to see that habit # 5 - Drinking pop -- even diet pop -- is a fat-producing habit. O.M.G. This is so me I can't even believe it. I have said this for ages. I drink WAY too much pop. I drink pop like my mom smokes cigarettes. It's definitely a bad habit!
Habits 6,7,8. . .yada yada yada.
But then we get to habit 9 - Ordering Combo Meals. This is the Happy Meal Debate all over again. Ordering combo meals does not make you fat. Eating combo meals makes you fat. There is a difference.
Habit 10 - Facing the buffet. Sigh. Look -- I know that most buffets are filled with fat people. But most fat people DO NOT GO TO BUFFETS. Seriously. We don't. You are beginning to piss me off.
Habits 11-15. Nothing notable.
Then we get to Habit 16.
Having fat friends makes you fat.
Wait -- WHAT?
So. . . my friend is fat because I am fat? Or I am fat because she is fat? What if she was fat when I met her? Is it our other friend's fault? WHAT?
Zinczenko & Goulding suggest "Rather than ditch a friend who starts to put on a few extra pounds though, suggest healthy activities that you can do together, and avoid letting him or her dictate the meal (“Let’s split the cheesecake!”)
Nothing says "I'm your friend!" like judging someones eating.
What, exactly is "dictating the meal"? "Hmmmmm. . .gee Michelle, I know you wanted the Buddha's Feast, but get the Kung Pao Chicken instead, OK? I'll be your best friend!"
I notice that in order to give credence to this premise, they quote research in the New England Journal of Medicine. Prestigious. I went to the New England Journal of Medicine to read the research for myself.
I found a synopsis of an article that I think they're using as data. The NEJoM synopsis does not list friends as a contributing factor, but the full text might. The full text of the article costs $15. I didn't buy it since $15 is roughly the cost of 12 Coke Zeros (which are keeping me fat, damn them!). If Zinczenko & Goulding used a different piece to justify their claim, I hope they will let me know.
I took stats last semester. Zinczenko & Goulding claim that having fat friends "ups your chance of obesity by 57 percent." If you look at the data in the NEJoM article, however, "other lifestyle factors associated with weight gain" are P<0.001. That is a very very small number. So my question is, 57% of what?
Could Zinczenko & Goulding be using the NEJoM's prestigious data to shock, amaze or enrage their readers? Look, I get it. You sell diet books and you want to sell more of them. By hurting and insulting fat people with your prestigious "research", you might be able to sell a few more.